Go Back   AFA Forums > Secularism and Social Issues > Politics

Politics Political issues which help or hinder our society

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #2221  
Old 8th April 2017, 03:16 PM
odd's Avatar
odd odd is offline
I, for one, welcome our new insect overlord.
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Pianosa.
Posts: 9,329
Default Re: President Donald Trump

Quote:
pipbarber said View Post
Quote:
odd said View Post
IMO it's some combination of:
1. Trump is playing from the old playbook and dropping bombs somewhere is always good for ratings.
I dont think this is the case. His deplorables are deplored at this decision given that he promised not to meddle in Syria. There does seem to be a generally positive global reaction though, but i dont think Trump wouldve predicted that.
It his core voters he needs a boost with, the ones who see this as 'presidential' and like the idea the US is acting like the big dog again. Cue more rally's to prop up his confidence again shortly.
__________________

'[They] agreed that it was neither possible nor necessary to educate people who never questioned anything.' ― Joseph Heller, Catch-22

'While on the other hand, dachshunds are always out of their depth.' - Cyclist

'I'm 'a' problem, not 'the' problem.' - Wolty

'You have to be odd to be number one.' - Dr Suess
Reply With Quote
Like Strato liked this post
  #2222  
Old 9th April 2017, 10:03 AM
stylofone's Avatar
stylofone stylofone is offline
I am no feeble Christ, not me.
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Sydney
Posts: 1,014
Default Re: President Donald Trump

Quote:
Darwinsbulldog said View Post
But the war has gone on for 6 years and hundreds of thousands have died, mostly, in an unpleasant way. [Ie not instant death, suffering before dying, etc].

Why does chem weapons change anything?

If folks wanted to reduce deaths and suffering they should have gone in early, removed Assad, and tried to fix things. How is this going to stop Assad using chem weapons again? He will get more from Russia or on the black market.
I think there's a qualitative difference with chemical weapons. The rasping pain in the lungs, the terror as nerve agents stop your brain from controlling your body. Also, they are harder to control. Wind carries the toxins through the air, away from your target. They are not good at damaging military targets. They are better at killing civilians, and terrorising the civilian population. In Syria's urban guerrilla environment, where civilians are mixed in with fighters, that effect is multiplied. It's my understanding that Syria makes its own chemical weapons, it doesn't need to get them on the black market or from Russia.

So chemical weapons make a big difference. Having them and using them makes you a lot worse. They are intolerable.

I personally think the same of nuclear weapons. The deterrence theory is coming under pressure due to proliferation, But chemical weapons are easier to make and are already available to states who lack the sophistication to adhere to concepts like mutually assured destruction. If they have a weapon, they can't resist using a weapon.

As for removing Assad, and "fixing things" that's easy to say, but the infernal web of power and sectarian rivalry in Syria means that "going in early" would, in all probability, have left us in the same situation we are in now.

Also, when is "early"? The Syrian war began during the Arab spring, when similar uprisings were taking place in half a dozen countries. Who would have had the foresight to know which country to pick, to "go in early". Would have have had Iraq style invasions in Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, all at once?

Last edited by stylofone; 9th April 2017 at 10:07 AM. Reason: added last para
Reply With Quote
Like Blue Lightning liked this post
  #2223  
Old 9th April 2017, 11:31 AM
Darwinsbulldog's Avatar
Darwinsbulldog Darwinsbulldog is offline
AFA Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Perth
Posts: 18,063
Default Re: President Donald Trump

Quote:
stylofone said View Post
I think there's a qualitative difference with chemical weapons. The rasping pain in the lungs, the terror as nerve agents stop your brain from controlling your body. Also, they are harder to control. Wind carries the toxins through the air, away from your target. They are not good at damaging military targets. They are better at killing civilians, and terrorising the civilian population. In Syria's urban guerrilla environment, where civilians are mixed in with fighters, that effect is multiplied. It's my understanding that Syria makes its own chemical weapons, it doesn't need to get them on the black market or from Russia.

So chemical weapons make a big difference. Having them and using them makes you a lot worse. They are intolerable.

I personally think the same of nuclear weapons. The deterrence theory is coming under pressure due to proliferation, But chemical weapons are easier to make and are already available to states who lack the sophistication to adhere to concepts like mutually assured destruction. If they have a weapon, they can't resist using a weapon.

As for removing Assad, and "fixing things" that's easy to say, but the infernal web of power and sectarian rivalry in Syria means that "going in early" would, in all probability, have left us in the same situation we are in now.

Also, when is "early"? The Syrian war began during the Arab spring, when similar uprisings were taking place in half a dozen countries. Who would have had the foresight to know which country to pick, to "go in early". Would have have had Iraq style invasions in Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, all at once?
Easy. Have a hair-trigger on the UN. These sorts of wars are entirely predicable, IMHO. if you want a classic case, Hitler in 1938. The allies in WW! fucking knew how good the Germans were at war, having suffered four years of it.
The we get Hitler coming to power, and re-militarising. Mein Kampf described exactly what his ambitions were. It would have been simple to crush him by 1937 or 38 [before Czechoslovakia] because even by 1940, Hitler had less than 50 divisions combat ready.

And "Arab spring" was mainly caused by supporting fascist regimes because they were 'foils" for the "communist threat". People [mainly the USA] were so afraid of communism, anything that sniffed of the left was viewed in horror, and it has been that way for a century or more. Of course there was more to that in the Arab Spring case, because it was about globalisation disempowering people, and repression of religions, particularity Islam. This radicalised Islam, because many Muslims thought [not without justification] that the Gulf Wars were all about a Christian crusade to crush Islam.

I am quite aware of the horrors of NBC warfare. I wasn't being an apologist for those who use it.

But the fact is that conventional warfare is just as horrible. Napalm, phosphorous shells, depleted uranium anti-tank rounds [chemical toxicity is the problem here, NOT radiation] , flamethrowers, mines [especially "bouncing bettys"] and many other ensure not only death or severe injuries, but a shit load of pain also.
__________________
Just stick to the idea that science tests falsifyable hypotheses to destruction.

Last edited by Darwinsbulldog; 9th April 2017 at 11:32 AM.
Reply With Quote
Like stylofone, wadaye liked this post
  #2224  
Old 9th April 2017, 10:48 PM
Strato's Avatar
Strato Strato is offline
What Me Deluded?
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: The Bellarine, Geelong.
Posts: 5,083
Default Re: President Donald Trump

Trump has no idea what he's getting into. He has no strategic plan. He is playing at acting presidential, taking initiative. As Commander-in Chief he is not obligated to submit military strike requisitions to Congress to solicit consent, or council as Obama did concerning possible action in Syria, after deep deliberation over ethics and consequences, such as likely deepening commitment to an intractable conflict.

Obama was then criticised for being feckless. At least Obama comprehended the situation from all angles.

There is always the key factor of personalities in shaping history. In our own times certain madmen are in power.
Reply With Quote
  #2225  
Old 9th April 2017, 11:14 PM
pipbarber's Avatar
pipbarber pipbarber is online now
AFA Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 2,441
Default Re: President Donald Trump

Quote:
Strato said View Post
Trump has no idea what he's getting into. He has no strategic plan. He is playing at acting presidential, taking initiative. As Commander-in Chief he is not obligated to submit military strike requisitions to Congress to solicit consent, or council as Obama did concerning possible action in Syria, after deep deliberation over ethics and consequences, such as likely deepening commitment to an intractable conflict.

Obama was then criticised for being feckless. At least Obama comprehended the situation from all angles.

There is always the key factor of personalities in shaping history. In our own times certain madmen are in power.
Yeah, the initial positive reaction i felt about the US attack is being replaced by trepidation after seeing that they have diverted an aircraft carrier toward Korea.

I hate to be crude but i think Trump has an enormous erection over the success of his Syrian intervention and he wants more.

Here i was thinking he'd just fuck up the US and it'd only affect us environmentally, i really never imagined he'd start a major war (not that he has yet). So much for America First, isolationism and ignoring the world.

You know, Trump is the nightmare that just keeps giving. Incredible.
Reply With Quote
  #2226  
Old 10th April 2017, 12:32 AM
wadaye wadaye is offline
AFA Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 4,486
Default Re: President Donald Trump

Quote:
odd said View Post
Quote:
pipbarber said View Post
Quote:
odd said View Post
IMO it's some combination of:
1. Trump is playing from the old playbook and dropping bombs somewhere is always good for ratings.
I dont think this is the case. His deplorables are deplored at this decision given that he promised not to meddle in Syria. There does seem to be a generally positive global reaction though, but i dont think Trump wouldve predicted that.
It his core voters he needs a boost with, the ones who see this as 'presidential' and like the idea the US is acting like the big dog again. Cue more rally's to prop up his confidence again shortly.
Trump was always going to find it difficult to assuage his diverse beat friends forever, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Putin since they are fighting proxy wars against each other.
__________________
"I'm an ape, I'm an African ape and I'm proud of it, and you should be too". Richard Dawkins

Last edited by wadaye; 10th April 2017 at 12:34 AM.
Reply With Quote
Like Blue Lightning liked this post
  #2227  
Old 10th April 2017, 08:42 AM
stylofone's Avatar
stylofone stylofone is offline
I am no feeble Christ, not me.
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Sydney
Posts: 1,014
Default Re: President Donald Trump

Quote:
pipbarber said View Post
Yeah, the initial positive reaction i felt about the US attack is being replaced by trepidation after seeing that they have diverted an aircraft carrier toward Korea.

I hate to be crude but i think Trump has an enormous erection over the success of his Syrian intervention and he wants more.

Here i was thinking he'd just fuck up the US and it'd only affect us environmentally, i really never imagined he'd start a major war (not that he has yet). So much for America First, isolationism and ignoring the world.

You know, Trump is the nightmare that just keeps giving. Incredible.
I'm recalling the claims in the campaign that Hillary was the hawk who was going to start WW3.
Reply With Quote
Laugh at Blue Lightning laughed at this post
  #2228  
Old 10th April 2017, 11:36 AM
Blue Lightning's Avatar
Blue Lightning Blue Lightning is offline
"Mr Charles Darwin had the gall to ask"
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Sydney
Posts: 5,869
Default Re: President Donald Trump

Trump's utterly unstable and unsuitable, and I do not trust him at all.

There are, at least, some few positive signs at the periphery, particularly with the possibly increasing influence of H.R. McMaster, the national security advisor who replaced Flynn.

McMaster's background:

Quote:
H.R. McMaster, an active-duty Army general, will be President Donald Trump’s next national security adviser ... McMaster isn’t exactly a household name, but he’s well-known among observers of the US military — and has a sterling reputation as a strategist, leader, and intellectual.

McMaster’s predecessor, retired Gen. Michael Flynn, had a (seemingly justified) reputation for being a loose cannon attracted to fringe political ideas. McMaster is the opposite — a careful scholar and successful general who’s well-regarded in the Washington foreign policy establishment. That’s why even some Trump critics, like former Obama Defense Department official Andrew Exum, are praising the pick.

“He is one of the most talented men I know,” Exum tweeted. “A great officer and thinker. Huge upgrade.” …
The Vox link is worth a read. Short story, McMaster proved to be an excellent field tactician in the first Gulf war. After the war he read History and did a PhD focusing on the failures in Vietnam, which led to a well-received book. Then (my emphasis added):

Quote:
In 2005, then-Col. McMaster deployed to Iraq, tasked with pacifying the insurgent-ridden city of Tal Afar. Unlike many generals at the time, McMaster emphasized Arabic language skills and interfacing with Iraqi civilians, on the theory that insurgents can’t survive without a friendly population to hide in. Foreign Policy’s Tom Ricks recalls McMaster’s time in Iraq thusly:

Quote:
I remember him telling his soldiers that understanding counterinsurgency really wasn’t hard: “Every time you disrespect an Iraqi, you’re working for the enemy.” They even had “Customer Satisfaction Forms” that detainees were asked to fill out upon release: Were you treated well? How was the food? What could we do better?
McMaster’s approach, as Ricks recalled, worked — he had established control over the city, with cooperation from local authorities, by the end of the year.

Despite this relatively impressive record, though, McMaster reportedly had some trouble climbing to the higher ranks of the US military, which his admirers attribute his willingness to speak his mind ...
At his Senate confirmation hearing in February, IIRC, McMaster was characteristically blunt in saying that where he differed from Trump, he would say so.

I also recall that there were debates within Democratic ranks prior to the Senate confirmation vote, because of tension between a desire to resist the Trump administration in everything it does, and a recognition in Democratic ranks that the McMaster appeared to be an excellent appointment.

Now, McMaster appears to have engineered the departure of Bannon from the National Security Council, which is no small thing:

Quote:
Donald Trump’s political strategist Steve Bannon has lost his place on the national security council in a staff shakeup, documents show.

A presidential memorandum dated 4 April took Bannon, the former Breitbart News executive and chief White House link to the nationalist rightwing, off the country’s main body for foreign policy and national security decision-making. It also restores the traditional roles of the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and the director of national intelligence to the NSC.

... the revamp is likely to be seen as a victory for Trump’s second national security adviser, army lieutenant general HR McMaster …

… McMaster’s camp described Bannon’s removal and the restoration of joint chiefs chairman Gen Joseph Dunford and intelligence chief Dan Coats to the council as a key objective for the national security adviser.

“Huge,” said one McMaster ally who requested anonymity. “That’s a big deal.”

The ally said the move showed McMaster establishing his influence with the president. McMaster was neither part of Trump’s election team nor even his second choice to run the NSC.

The McMaster ally described Bannon’s removal as a “priority” …
These are early days. There's a lot of uncertainty and tea-leaf reading going on, no doubt. Fingers crossed. We shall see.
__________________
"Just stick to the idea that science is just about making descriptive models of natural phenomena, whose emergent predictions are tested to destruction" - Woof!
"Science is what we have learned about how to keep from fooling ourselves" - Richard Feynman

Last edited by Blue Lightning; 10th April 2017 at 11:42 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2229  
Old 10th April 2017, 11:49 AM
stylofone's Avatar
stylofone stylofone is offline
I am no feeble Christ, not me.
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Sydney
Posts: 1,014
Default Re: President Donald Trump

Quote:
Blue Lightning said View Post
These are early days. There's a lot of uncertainty and tea-leaf reading going on, no doubt. Fingers crossed. We shall see.
We've had months of madness, waiting for the "pivot". This looks like it. But are things really as they seem? Bannon on the outer? Please let it be real.

You'd have to think that being "Presidential" really stokes Trump's ego. He's just thrown away so many of his former statements by firing those missiles, but the glow must be soooo warm. And he declared war on the Freedom Caucus, really swamp-filling behaviour.

But after all the madness, this could be just a blip. I think the ego thing is the key. He can't have been happy with all those failures - Trumpcare, the Muslim ban etc.. We'll see more sanity if it coincides with ego-pumping.
Reply With Quote
  #2230  
Old 10th April 2017, 11:54 AM
Blue Lightning's Avatar
Blue Lightning Blue Lightning is offline
"Mr Charles Darwin had the gall to ask"
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Sydney
Posts: 5,869
Default Re: President Donald Trump

@Stylofine: I've no confidence in Trump. It's not "early days" for him, at all. We know what a train wreck he is.

All I meant was that it was "early days" in relation to military and security issues in vital places like the Middle East and North Asia.
__________________
"Just stick to the idea that science is just about making descriptive models of natural phenomena, whose emergent predictions are tested to destruction" - Woof!
"Science is what we have learned about how to keep from fooling ourselves" - Richard Feynman

Last edited by Blue Lightning; 10th April 2017 at 11:58 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +11. The time now is 06:50 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.